Congressman Brendan Boyle, a fast emerging federal legislator who takes a particular interest in Irish affairs, has a word from Irish history and applied it to today’s inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States.
Boyle boycotted the event on the steps of the Capitol.
Boyle, whose congressional district covers part of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County, said that he was joining over sixty fellow Democrats in the boycott of Trump’s swearing in as the 45th President.
"As much as I cherish this day, can I in good conscience celebrate that which I believe is a grave mistake?" said Boyle in a statement posted on social media.
"Can I sit by mere yards away and applaud the desecration of the most important office in the history of the world?
“After wrestling with this question for the last two months, I have concluded I cannot participate in this Inaugural celebration."
Boyle said that he did not question the legality of Trump’s election to the presidency, his having captured more than the required minimum of Electoral College votes.
But he characterized Trump as “a unique threat to the Constitution and our country."
Said Boyle, who is 39: "I accept the decision of the people. I respect it. But I will not celebrate it."
Boyle, now in his second term in the House of Representatives, is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and in the run-up to the November election began to appear as a speaking guest on TV networks such as CNN.
Boyle is also a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
His father, Francis, is an immigrant from County Donegal while his late mother, Eileen, was the daughter of immigrants from County Sligo.
This story was originally published in the Irish Echo. You can read more from them here.